There are very few simple dishes that look more beautiful than whole artichokes.
For my next dinner party, these will absolutely be the appetizers. Artichokes are incredibly healthy (unless you go crazy with aioli for dipping) and they’re absolutely stunning while requiring almost no work. You can throw these in to roast when the first guest arrives, and by the time you’re done with cocktails, they’re ready for the table.
During our move, four plates of our wedding china got broken, and I realized I was even sadder because I’d never even used them. Chad and I have been married for two years already, and I haven’t even taken them out? Insanity. So I’ve decided to make an effort to use them more, even just for day-to-day type things. It’s kind of nice to work special-occasion pieces into ordinary days — and how beautiful do they make every dish look?
To prep the artichokes, first cut off the stem and peel off a layer of the lowest, outer leaves. Then take scissors and cut of the tips of all of the remaining leaves, and then slice the artichoke about 3/4″ from the tip, all the way through.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Rub the outer layers of the artichoke with lemon juice. Place each artichoke on a square of tinfoil and drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Wrap the foil around the artichokes and bake for about 45-60 minutes.
To eat, peel off each of the leaves and eat the fleshy part at their base. Serve with melted butter or aioli (my recipe is here!), and dip each leaf into the aioli if desired. When all the leaves are gone, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part and eat the remaining artichoke heart.